‘Too close for comfort’: Lakeview residents concerned about plans for new Metra wall, closer tracks

‘Too close for comfort’: Lakeview residents concerned about plans for new Metra wall, closer tracks

CHICAGO (TOC) — Some individuals purchase properties for his or her skyline view or the outside area, however what if it was all changed with a big wall?

Metra plans to construct a wall alongside a number of townhomes. It may very well be 9 to 13 ft excessive. The enormous wall could be simply exterior their doorways, and the Metra tracks could be even nearer to their properties. All of it has been worrying residents.

“That is shut That is too shut for consolation,” stated Craig Gunderson.

Neighbors have been dreading the plan to construct a Metra wall on the railroad’s property line inside ft of their patio doorways.

“We cannot have any vegetation anymore. We’ve a lot of timber, the timber can be gone and it’ll simply get replaced with what resembles a jail wall,” stated Christie Calmeyn.

The wall could be proper up towards dozens of Lakeview townhomes, together with many positioned within the Picardy Place subdivision, the place these residents dwell. Craig Gunderson made renderings of what he thinks all of it might seem like.

“They’ve said that it will start one foot exterior of the property, our property line,” Gunderson stated.

Behind the wall, Metra tracks can be moved 20 ft nearer to their properties. The fence presently between the 2 could be eliminated.

“The place we’re sitting really is the place they’re proposing to maneuver the monitor over. So that you and I might not be capable to have this dialog with their practice coming proper down the center of the yard. We would not be capable to benefit from the outside area. I take pleasure in gardening, I benefit from the birds the character. It could all be gone primarily simply worn out,” stated Sarah Jackson.

It is all a part of an infrastructure enchancment undertaking to switch a number of bridges alongside Metra routes greater than 120 years previous.

“There are, sadly, properties that had been constructed very near the property line within the final many years. And people homes proper now, they’ve a small yard after which a slope going as much as the tracks. And that slope has type of been a part of their yard all this time,” Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis advised the I-Group.

He stated the motion of the tracks and the wall are all being constructed on railroad property, which residents have been allowed to make use of as their very own outside area. Presently, a fence sits between the outside area and the tracks.

“It’s their property, like I’ve no authorized leg to face on so far as, like, telling them that they should not come right here and rip all of this up. However they need to be good neighbors about it,” stated Gunderson.

Residents are additionally involved about property values. However most of all, they’re frightened about security if the highest of wall comes too near second-story patio decks.

ABC7 requested Gillis what Metra has to say to residents who’re involved about their security and their livelihoods.

“We selected this selection as a result of it is the most effective for the area. It is the most effective for the federal, state and native taxpayers that fund us. It is best for our riders it permits us to maintain two tracks open. We have checked out different choices that we checked out a wide range of different choices, together with one prompt by some locally that we really tried to construct the primary new monitor on the east facet of the prevailing. There’s simply not sufficient area on that east facet,” Gillis advised the I-Group.

Calmeyn is disenchanted.

“There’s a greater manner take into consideration this complete group. Take into consideration being a great neighbor,” Calmeyn stated.

Metra stated the ultimate design and actual peak of the wall are nonetheless being reviewed, including there could also be methods to beautify the retaining wall for residents. Development may begin by subsequent 12 months until the present plan modifications.

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